Trinity University is a private, independent, primarily undergraduate, university in San Antonio, Texas.
Trinity was founded in 1869 by Cumberland Presbyterians in Tehuacana, Texas. The school was formed from the remnants of three small Cumberland Presbyterian colleges that had failed during the American Civil War. Feeling that the school needed the support of a larger community, the university moved in 1902 to Waxahachie, Texas. In 1906, the university, along with many Cumberland Presbyterian churches, affiliated with the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
In 1942, the Methodist-affiliated University of San Antonio was failing. Trinity was solicited by community leaders in San Antonio who wished to maintain a Protestant-related college in the city. The university left Waxahachie and took over the campus and alumni of the University of San Antonio. The old Waxahachie campus is currently home to Southwestern Assemblies of God University. In 1945, the school acquired a former limestone quarry for a new campus. Texas architect O'Neil Ford was hired to design a master plan and many of the buildings. Construction began in 1950, and the current campus opened in 1952. Since 1969, Trinity has been governed by an independent board of trustees and has maintained a covenant relationship with the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Under the leadership of Dr. James W. Laurie, the university’s 14th president, Trinity took advantage of its new location in a rapidly growing major urban center to grow in academic stature. Dr. Laurie was responsible for drastically increasing Trinity’s endowment. This allowed it to construct a new, modern campus in its “University on the Hill” location and to increase the quality and range of its faculty while maintaining an extremely high faculty to student ratio. This in turn allowed Trinity to be more selective in student recruitment. This work was continued by Laurie’s successor Ronald Calgaard. Current president John R. Brazil has focused on replacing outdated campus buildings and improving the school's financial resources. The "Campaign for Trinity University," which launched in September 2005, seeks to raise US $200 million for a variety of purposes. As of May 22, 2009, the Campaign had raised US $202.2 million. This surpasses the original goal, however the drive continues to fund key objectives. On January 23, 2009 it was announced that Dr. Brazil will retire as Trinity's President in January 2010. That same day he was awarded Trinity's Distinguished Service Award, Trinity's most prestigious honor, by the Board of Trustees. On September 25, 2009 it was announced that Dr. Dennis Ahlburg will assume the presidency in January 2010.
Today Trinity is widely regarded as one of the best undergraduate universities in America. Trinity was recognized by Princeton Review in their 2007 edition of "The Best 361 Colleges," its annual college guide. Trinity has also been ranked #1 in its category ("Masters' Universities - Western") for 17 straight years in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges." The engineering program at Trinity has received specific praise, being cited in the same report as one of the best in the nation.